Hi Robyn! Welcome to Mothering! (I'm assuming you're new to the boards here, since the above is your first post).
Here is a link to the Wyoming thread in the "Finding your Tribe" forum here, if you want to check that out:http://mothering.com/discussions/sho....php?t=1102138
OK, in terms of WYVA ---
We had seriously considered homeschooling, and ended up doing k12 just because I hadn't adequately researched curriucula etc. for homeschooling, and k12 looked like it would work with us, free, less work for me in terms of researching. But, this is my only 'homeschooling' experience other than a completely unschooled approach to preschool with Ina.
So I don't know about how the transition from homeschool to public in-home virtual academy would go ... it probably is an individual issue in the end. Perhaps some of the other moms on this thread will be able to describe how it went with their older kids, although I don't know if anyone has a high school student.
I have a friend whose public-schooled junior took an English class online last year and he enjoyed it and did well. It was very much on his own (little need for his mom to supervise) and I think that's pretty much the way the high school level lessons are supposed to work.
And, since Ina is just in K, I don't know how the computer thing would work. One would hope with that number of students, they'd at least send a couple computers!! Ina and SJ fight over the k12 computer as it is .... we have a small netbook that we bought for doing k12 on the road, and often we have Ina on the big computer and SJ on the little one, just for the sake of peace!
All your materials are FREE. You might need to buy some supplemental stuff (construction paper etc.) but your entire curriculum is free; combine that with the library, and you've got books pretty much covered. I don't much care for the Phonics program, but if you've homeschooled this long, you should be able to plug in phonics from your homeschool stash instead of using their curriculum (just take their assessments).
It seems that each year kids are in k12, they become more and more self-directed and autonomous; so since most of your kids are over 4th grade, I'd imagine that once you've learned how it works and become comfortable with it, your work load will diminish. The first few weeks of learning how it WORKS though, will take some time!
The kids will all have to take the public school tests, since they are public school students. So be aware of that; I don't know whether they'll want to do a placement test when you enroll them (starting with a K student from the beginning allowed me to bypass that issue).
In terms of how your school district will work with them -- I think some districts are working well with them. My school district refused, so we are enrolled directly with WYVA and enrolled in their HQ school (Lusk) -- if your local district wants some credit for your kids' scores, and wants some of the state and federal $$ that your kids would have brought to them in the public schools, then they'll cooperate and have your kids enrolled via them into the WYVA program. But you can enroll whether they are cooperative or not, you just need to show that you contacted them to allow them to cooperate.
For us, school with Ina most days takes about 3 hours. We travel a LOT, and when we travel, I bring work to do in the car (usually heavy on phonics, reading, math) and then do the more online lessons (history, science, art) at the destination. We need to submit attendance daily but we don't have to do all the classes each day, and can work into the weekend. There have been days where I did Monday's work on Sunday, and then Monday submitted attendance, but didn't do work since we'd already done it. We tell our 'teacher' what our schedule is and she's flexible.